Opko Health Inc. said Thursday it has agreed to buy Bio-Reference Laboratories Inc. in a deal valued at about $1.5 billion. Opko said it will pay 2.75 shares for each Bio-Reference Labs share, which is equal to $52.58 per share. The deal is expected to close in the second half. Opko said it will leverage the marketing, sales and distribution resources of Bio-Reference Labs to push sales of 4Kscore, a blood test that provides details of a patient's risk of contracting aggressive prostate cancer, along with other diagnostic products. J.P. Morgan was financial advisor to Opko, while Allen & Company LLC was financial advisor to Bio-Reference Labs. Opko shares fell 3.2% in premarket trade, while Bio-Reference Labs was halted.
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